The effect of venue sampling on estimates of HIV prevalence and sexual risk behaviors in men who have sex with men

Sex Transm Dis. 2006 Sep;33(9):545-50. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000219866.84137.82.


Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate differences in HIV prevalence and sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) according to their gay venue visit patterns.

Methods: In a cross-sectional survey, a population-based sample of men aged 18 to 64 years who self-identified as gay or bisexual were interviewed by telephone regarding their sexual behaviors, HIV serostatus, and gay venue visit patterns.

Results: A total of 398 men were recruited for the study. The results showed that frequent gay venue visitors were more likely to engage in high-risk sexual behaviors. Among gay venue attendees who visited different types of gay venues, men who visited sex clubs/bathhouses reported the highest rates of 5 or more male sexual partners and unprotected anal intercourse (UAI) with secondary partners (62.6% and 34.6%, respectively), gay bar/club attendees and cruisers reported higher rates of having sex with women (8.5% and 14.8%, respectively), and circuit party attendees reported the highest HIV prevalence (40.4%) and serodiscordant UAI (30.2%).

Conclusions: MSM who visited different types of gay venues and with varied visit frequency showed marked differences in sexual risk behaviors, and the differences suggest the importance of weighting procedure to obtain unbiased estimates in venue-based studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • California / epidemiology
  • HIV / growth & development*
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • Homosexuality, Male*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk-Taking*